KEY MARKET INDICATORS as of Sep 01, 2017
August Jobs Report
Job growth slowed in August, but the labor market remained healthy and in full employment. Employers added 156,000 jobs during the month, below the 176,000 jobs per month pace for the past 8 months. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 4.4%. Wage growth was unchanged at 2.5%. This report does not cover the period of Hurricane Harvey. We will see Harvey’s impact on the labor market from next month’s jobs report.
The slower job growth for August occurred in the services sector, which is now a much more important part of the economy both in terms of the overall number of jobs and job market growth. Tourism (leisure and hospitality – up 4,000 jobs in August), education and health (up 25,000 jobs), and professional and business services generated 69,000 jobs during the month, well down from the 124,000 jobs per month pace seen in the first 7 months of 2017. The bright spots this month included manufacturing, which added 36,000 jobs; and construction, which added 28,000 jobs. Construction has been the fastest growing sector in the economy in the past 12 months in terms of growth rate, thanks to the rapid growth in housing-related jobs.
The job market continues to be very positive for potential first-time homebuyers. Unemployment rate for people in the primary homebuying age (25-34 and 35-44) was 4.2% in August, near the lowest point in the cycle.